Most people are fortunate enough to have good relationships with their neighbours. You don’t have to be best buds, planning weekend barbecues and backyard croquet matches, but enjoying a friendly wave and an occasional chat in the driveway helps create a good vibe in the whole neighbourhood.

On the other side of the coin, everyone has heard a horror story of the neighbour from hell – the homeowner who steals your blue box, refuses to bring their barking dog inside or leaves piles of rusted junk on their front lawn. Don’t be that neighbour!

A little consideration and respect for others is all it takes to ensure everyone’s happiness. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with neighbours. One of the easiest ways to prevent problems is to stop them before they begin. Taking a few minutes to be friendly with a simple hello or a smile can go a long way in developing a good relationship. Be approachable so that your neighbours are comfortable coming to you if an issue arises.

If you’re planning on throwing a year-end baseball team bash in your backyard, make an effort to inform your neighbours ahead of time. Let them know your plans and ask for their understanding if things are a little rowdier than usual. Keep in mind that informing neighbours ahead of time doesn’t give you a free pass to crank your tunes until all hours of the night. Always be considerate.

If you do have an issue or disagreement with a neighbour, don’t let it fester. Approach them with a problem, always looking at the big picture and trying to see things from their perspective. A good neighbour is a blessing. Disagreements can happen, but taking the time to work it out will save you headaches in the future.

Working on a good relationship with your neighbours has many benefits. It will not only eliminate stress, it will also make your home and community safer. Knowing the people around you will add to your peace of mind and can make you feel more secure when you are away from home. You all have a lot invested in a safe community, so work together.

A strong and safe neighbourhood depends on the people living in it. Investing in a positive relationship will benefit everyone.